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Fiction Between Punjab Governor And CM Bhagwant Mann Intensifies After President’s Rule Warning

Punjab’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) administration and the governor are at odds more than ever now after the governor threatened to propose the President’s rule if Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann didn’t react to official correspondence.

Today, Governor Banwarilal Purohit issued a warning to Mr. Mann, stating that if his letters go unanswered, he may recommend President’s rule in the state and initiate legal action.

With the use of Article 356, a state is placed directly under the control of the federal government, typically following the Governor’s submission of a report.

The Punjab Governor voiced concerns about drug trafficking in the border state in his letters and questioned Mr. Mann about the government’s response.

The Governor in the letter said he has got reports from various agencies about availability and use of narcotics, and how it has become common that they are allegedly available in pharmacies and even in government-controlled liquor stores.

One in five persons in Punjab are drug addicts, according to a recent report by the parliamentary standing committee, which the governor cited.

In his most recent message to Mann, Governor Purohit expressed his frustration at not hearing back from him regarding his prior message and forewarned him that he could inform the President on the “failure of constitutional mechanism.” Purohit gave Mann the advice to take action before to making this “final decision” in accordance with Article 356 of the Constitution and Section 124 of the Indian Penal Code.

With the use of Article 356, a state is placed directly under the control of the Centre, usually following the Governor’s submission of a report. The IPC section relates to assaulting or wrongfully restraining the President or a governor from exercising their lawful powers.

“Before I am going to take final decision regarding sending a report to the President of India under Article 356 about the failure of the constitutional mechanism and take a decision about initiating criminal proceedings under section 124 of the IPC, I ask you to send me the requisite information sought for under my letters referred to above, as also in the matter of the steps taken by you concerning the problem of drugs in the State, failing which I would have no choice but to take action according to law and the Constitution,” the Governor said in the letter.

Responding to the Governor’s warning, AAP leader Malvinder Singh Kang told news agency ANI that the Governor should maintain a decorum.

“India’s Constitution empowers elected people… Such threatening and warning by the Governor, threat to impose President’s Rule – the BJP’s agenda has come on the lips of the Governor,” Mr Kang said.

“I would like to tell the Governor that if they want to impose the President’s Rule, they should do that in Manipur, in Haryana. Punjab government is working within the constitutional framework. Governor has just one agenda – taking forward BJP’s agenda of disturbing the non-BJP State governments,” the AAP leader alleged.

Other opposition-ruled states like West Bengal and Tamil Nadu have also alleged the Governor’s interference in the state government’s functioning.

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